Press Release

A Selling Exhibition at Sotheby’s New York S|2 Gallery

NEW YORK – Sotheby’s is honored to present Les Lalanne: The Poetry of Sculpture, a selling exhibition featuring works by Claude and François-Xavier Lalanne, curated by Paul Kasmin and Michael Shvo, in the New York S|2 private sales gallery from 31 October through 22 November 2013. Offering a wide range of the couple’s most iconic and sought-after works chosen by Kasmin, a long-time gallerist of the duo, and Shvo, an avid collector of the works, the gallery space will be transformed into a midnight garden and thereby evoke the surrealist sculptors’ magical world in which their life and art were intertwined since the 1960’s.

Highlights of the selling exhibition include François-Xavier’s iconic sheep,Moutons de Laine (Troupeau de 3), and monumental bronze bear,La Grande Ourse, and Claude’s regal rabbit, Nouveau Lapin de Victoire. Also on view are works that have never been exhibited before including Mouflon de Ram Island (grand) and Vache Bien Etablie II, both by François-Xavier. Interest in and appreciation of the artists’ work is at an all-time high following a series of museum and gallery shows—notably, a 2010 retrospective at the Musée des Arts Decoratifs in Paris—making this an ideal time to celebrate and introduce their work to a broader global audience.

Sotheby’s S|2 selling exhibition follows Kasmin and Shvo’s groundbreaking public art exhibition, Sheep Station, at the former Getty filling station in West Chelsea. The pair placed 25 sheep sculptures by François- Xavier Lalanne, along the suddenly-grassy surface of a former gas station at the corner of 24th Street and 10th Avenue, a site now owned by Shvo and slated to become luxury residences. Sheep Station is open to the public through 20 October, just before the S|2 exhibition opens, affording both new and seasoned Lalanne enthusiasts the opportunity to join in the appreciation of this celebrated duo’s work throughout the autumn season.

François-Xavier Lalanne
François-Xavier had a fondness for creating oversized animals, which often bear secret compartments or double as pieces of furniture. One of his most famous early creations, the Rhinocrétaire, is a life-sized rhinoceros with a built-in writing desk that dates back to 1964.

He first created his iconic moutons in 1965, which later came to symbolize his ongoing mission to demystify art and capture its joie de vivre. His sheep sculptures are meant to be sat on and effortlessly occupy a garden as easily as they do a gallery. Several of Lalanne’s sheep will be included in the S|2 selling exhibition, including Moutons de Laine (Troupeau de 3) (left), which were executed in 1974 and are made of wool, bronze and wood on wheels.

Claude Lalanne
Claude Lalanne is noted for her preference for flora over fauna—one of her most famous works is L’Homme à Tête de Chou (a man with the head of a cabbage), which graced Serge Gainsbourg’s 1976 album of the same title. While Claude has tackled the intricacies of tableware and jewelry, lapins, or rabbits, are a recurring theme in Claude’s work. The bronze Nouveau Lapin de Victoire is the most monumental in scale Claude executed, standing at over seven feet tall (top of page 1). With a cabbage collar adorning its neck, the lapin stands upright with his cane and is cast entirely out of bronze.

About S|2
S|2 is the private sale and gallery arm of Sotheby’s Global Contemporary Art department, offering exceptional works of art through unique and important exhibitions throughout the world. Exhibition programming has included shows dedicated to the works of individual artists, such as: Keith Haring, Yayoi Kusama and Jean- Michel Basquiat, to shows curated by art world figures including Vito Schnabel and Vladimir Restoin Roitfeld. The works on display in S|2 are available for private sale, offering an exciting new dimension to the Sotheby’s experience. In addition to gallery programming, the S|2 team also facilitates bespoke private acquisitions and sales.

About Paul Kasmin Gallery
Paul Kasmin Gallery is committed to supporting an ongoing intellectual and visual dialogue with influential Modern and Contemporary artists, representing several generations of internationally recognized contemporary artists working in a variety of media. In addition to years of representing and cultivating important contemporary artists’ careers like Walton Ford, Nir Hod, Robert Indiana, Deborah Kass, Nyoman Masriadi, James Nares, Erik Parker, Iván Navarro, Mark Ryden and Kenny Scharf, Paul Kasmin Gallery also specializes in representing artist estates, such as those of Arman, Constantin Brancusi, William N. Copley, Simon Hantaï, François-Xavier Lalanne and Morris Louis. Since its inception in 1989, the gallery has presented a program of exceptional one-person exhibitions and dynamic group shows. In autumn of 1999, the gallery moved from its original home in SoHo to its current location on the corner of 10th Avenue and 27th Street in Chelsea. The second gallery location, located at 515 W. 27th Street, opened with its inaugural exhibition Ai Weiwei: Circle of Animals / Zodiac Heads in November, 2011. The gallery publishes a variety of catalogues and monographs, participates in international art fairs and frequently presents outdoor public art projects.

About Michael Shvo
Michael Shvo is a real estate developer, art collector and design expert who has led the creation, development and sales of more than $15 billion in global real estate. Since founding his company in 2004, he has achieved international recognition for transforming real estate into a luxury brand and for his commitment to creating unique lifestyle experiences. Mr. Shvo continues to place an emphasis on sophisticated design for each of his developments by collaborating with leading architects including Herzog & de Meuron, Peter Marino, Studio Dror, Marwan Al-Sayed, Rick Joy, Annabelle Selldorf, Enrique Norten, Reda Amalou, Gwathmey Siegel, Graft, Piero Lissoni, Philippe Starck, Jean-Michel Gathy, Jaya Ibrahim, and Adam Tihany. Mr. Shvo and his wife Seren have developed an extensive contemporary art collection including works by Andy Warhol,Jean-Michel Basquiat, Tom Wesselmann, Alexander Calder, Frank Stella, Takashi Murakami, Morris Louis, Kenneth Noland, and Josef Albers among others. An active participant in the contemporary art market, both collecting and commissioning original pieces, Mr. Shvo produced Documents of Desire & Disaster, a retrospective for contemporary photographer David LaChapelle in Istanbul in 2010.


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Sotheby’s has been uniting collectors with world-class works of art since 1744. Sotheby’s became the first international auction house when it expanded from London to New York (1955), the first to conduct sales in Hong Kong (1973) and France (2001), and the first international fine art auction house in China (2012). Today, Sotheby’s presents auctions in eight different salesrooms, including New York, London, Hong Kong and Paris, and Sotheby’s BidNow program allows visitors to view all auctions live online and place bids in real-time from anywhere in the world. Sotheby’s offers collectors the resources of Sotheby’s Financial Services, the world’s only full-service art financing company, as well as private sale opportunities in more than 70 categories, including S|2, the gallery arm of Sotheby's Contemporary Art department, as well as Sotheby’s Diamonds and Sotheby’s Wine. Sotheby’s has a global network of 90 offices in 40 countries and is the oldest company listed on the New York Stock Exchange (BID).

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